My Summer, Part 2 (Return to the Desert)

I think it's funny when my friends say things like "You should do a show near me!"...

Um...why?  You already like me! lol My work here is done. :)

  I'm trying to build an empire people!  Go to places I've never been.  Make fans out of complete strangers.  To tell the truth, the places you think are the hardest to win over crowds are typically the easiest (New York, L.A., Chicago, etc.).  The bigger the city, the faster the sell.  They're so in tune with current events and pop culture that you can slide in and out of the colesium unscathed, because they "get" you.  Now, as the U.S. learned in Afghanistan and Iraq, sometimes it's the smaller places that have the most bite-back.  Same thing in comedy...I'm lookin' at YOU Montana.  Wyoming.  Alabama.  Sometimes it's just best to leave those places be.  Can't please everybody, especially when you're blac...young.  Anyway, moving on:

Secondly, I often find that those people who say things like "You should do a show near ME"...are pret-ty self-centered.  They didn't say "I should see if you're somewhere that I can make it to one of your shows."  or "You should do a show in Portland" They mean exactly what they just said.  Near ME.  They are the center of their own little universe.  Hell, they probably speak in 3rd person when they talk and don't even notice anymore.  You'll never see Alvin doin' that.  Why? Cuz I keep it real!  Funny thing is those same people are the ones who don't come to your show even if you are near them!  I did a show 10 min away from my friend's house before, and they STILL didn't come.  Their excuse was "Yea you told us, but you didn't send a reminder!"...Me telling you WAS the reminder Dipstick!  I'm a comic, not an event planner.  If you can remember when I'm in town, hit me up and I'll get you in free.  If the club gives me drink tickets, you can have those too, so your whole night is on me! That's always the deal I've had with my friends.  Plus my schedule is always available from now through next year at (yea, that just happened.  It's Alvin's blog of course he's gonna plug it), so grab a marker and make your own damn reminder!!!...Love You :)

Or how about this old favorite..."Why are you performing there?  It's COLD.  You should do warmer places in the wintertime and the colder places in the summer!"...Actually, that's a great idea.  Matter of fact, it's SO great that every comic in the friggin' WORLD has thought of it before me!  I knooow you think you're heeeelping, but you're not.  There is probably no new idea you're bringing my way about my travel schedule, including mode of transportation or seasonal venue selection, so please don't try.  In return, I promise to never ask you from stage "What's the deal with airplane food?!" (btw...I used to work for an airline.  I actually know what the deal is, just can't tell ya!)

Believe me, there will come a time one day where I get to pick and choose my schedule and be exactly where I want to be at all times of the year.  But until then?  It's midwest during the winters and deserts during the summers.  And since winters in the midwest will ALWAYS suck, let's just focus on how wonderful and incredibly awesome my summer in the desert was instead...

I kicked off my summer travel schedule performing at Laffs Comedy Cafe in Tucson, AZ.  GREAT club.  The crowds were live from the jump, and each show was packed with people.  I performed with Janet Williams a.k.a. The Tennessee Tramp (or Tramp for short :)).  First thing I noticed about her was that she was twice my age, but had cooler kicks than mine.  I have these solid electric blue Converse sneakers that typically steal the show, but she came out of the hotel sporting a leopard print pair of Chuck T's that left me in 2nd place.  Go'n witcho bad self Janet!  And I'm happy to report she was hilarious!  It's funny watching somebody 60yrs old rock a place full of young people for a solid hour.  I was impressed, and watched all 4 shows.  We drove to the shows together and talked a lot about the industry, and she was very helpful, open and honest about her experiences (in places like Alabama).  I model myself after comics who help other comics, so I was like a sponge.  She told me before the last show "We're gonna have a great time.  All I need is for you not to be funny. Got it?" lol  I told her "I'll try, but I'm afraid I just can't do it, Tramp."  She said "Fine.  But I'm gonna tell people we slept together so you just keep your mouth shut if they ask."  You got a 3 month headstart before my tell-all blogpost Janet, so use it wisely! lol  Here's some footage from after the shows:

Thanks Laffs!  I'll be back on Memorial Day Weekend!  (Reminder: It's on my schedule at ...)
"Big Ass Chair"

On a sidenote, I caught up with my next door neighbor from college, Jendar, who now lives in Tucson, and she took me out on the town to show me the best of the city.  She asked where I wanted to go and I said take me somewhere memorable...We circled around AWHILE lol but she finally found an after hours spot called Bay Horse Tavern...or at least I think that was the name.  It's written on this big ass chair they have in there.  Now, having me call it a big ass chair is a bit of an understatement, so I thought a picture of me sitting in it might give you a decent idea of just how big this big ass chair was.  So here I am to the right... While we were there, her friends asked her how the show was...Jendar proceeds to put down her drink, stand up, and begin doing an impression of ME onstage for her friends.  I don't know much, but I know this: You haven't lived, until a white girl does an impression of you.  That's the moment when you know you're goin' places!  Thanks for the laughs Jendar!

So last year during my first tour through Arizona,  I was in a little place called Show Low.  Remember Stacy and Dana?  a.k.a. "The Girls with Tha Girls"?  Ha, well luckily for me, they're not flakes, and they showed up as promised again this year at my Monday Funday show at Hon-Dah Resort and Casino.  This time I got to spend a few days with them after the show at their party cabin just like we had talked about last year.  I don't know if I was kidnapped or adopted, but I'm definitely a part of their family now!  For 2 days they housed me, fed me, and taught me how to play horseshoes and darts!  I sucked at both, but nobody judged me!  I really felt at home those 2 days.  I spent most of my time trying to teach Stacy the game of basketball during the NBA Finals (It's my community outreach mission to try to teach all young attractive women how to act like they are interested in the game of basketball.  I don't do this for me, I do this for all the sports-deprived women of the world.  This is my gift to you, and trust me, my system WORKS.  It will make you a high-prized wife candidate to that special guy in your life if he thinks you actually give a shit about sports.  Most of you don't, but you're ALL great actresses, so make your talents work for YOU!  Oh, and sorry to those recently married men who found this out too late, it was my fault :)). 

Hangin' with Deagan

While I was there I struck up a friendship with Dana's youngest son, Deagan.  He was an inquisitive little chap, and we had a conversation one day that I'll never forget.  Matter of fact, it was a facebook status of mine back in late June:

"This little kid just asked me where apples come from. I said apple trees. Oranges? I told him orange trees. Watermelons? I told him what the hell makes you think I know? Did somebody tell you to ask me that?!...Yea, I gotta chill out lol...I told him Watermelon trees."

Ha...I'm immature! :)

From there I hit up the open mic comedy circuit around Phoenix and Tempe.  First The Hidden House, followed by The Monkeypants Bar.  Let me tell you something:  It was one of the best open mic scenes I have ever been a part of.  Well run, funny people, great crowds.  Expect to hear a couple of these names in the next few years:  Amanda Hurley, Kirsten Alberts, John Griggs, Ricardo Rocha, Jeffery Wiles, Jamie Sanderson, and Steve Marek to name a few!  The AZ open mic scene is LOADED.  Jamie and Steve are the ones who do the S&M Podcast that I was featured on back in June.  If you didn't hear it yet, have a listen!:  Episode 36: Alvin Williams Signs The Guestbook

I finished off the week by performing at Stand-up Scottsdale, and hanging out with my friend Kirsten Alberts who I had met in Chicago when we did a show at Zanies together last year.  Super funny comic.  One of those people who's just as funny being herself offstage as she is performing onstage.  Once again, I found myself trying to explain the game of basketball (I'm TELLIN' you ladies, it works!), and we ended up on the subject of why people hated Lebron James.  I tried to explain to the best of my abilities, but fell short.  Here's the conversation in it's entirety:

Kirsten: Oh yea, is that the guy who was raping people?

Me: No, that was Kobe.

Kirsten: So people hate him too?

Me: Well, they kind've don't like him, but we still respect him more than Lebron.

Kirsten: But Lebron didn't rape anyone right?

Me: ...Right.  But technically Kobe didn't rape anybody either.  He was just accused after he cheated on his wife..  But he settled out of court and won 2 more championships, so people started liking him again...It's complicated. 

Kirsten: Oh ok...but just to be clear, Lebron didn't rape anybody, or cheat on his wife, but people hate him more than Kobe?

Me: Well probably not now because Lebron is about to win the championship tonight, so we can't hate him anymore.

                                       ...The NBA: Where Ass-Backwards Thinking Happens.

Lincoln Park High School fo' LIFE! :)
My last night in Scottsdale I received a surprise like no other.  I was walking out the door to sell dvds at the end of the show when somebody yelled "ALVIN!".  It was my friend Michelle Severson from Chicago who I hadn't seen since my freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL!  We were at Lincoln Park High School together and sat next to each other in math class.  Two months later, she transferred.  The next year I moved to Denver, and we never saw each other again for 13yrs until that night.  We spent a good 30min chatting outside.  It was like we were 14 again, and we picked up right where we left off:  Bitchin' about our algerbra teacher! lol Some grudges die HARD!  I kind've ignored everyone else on the way out, so I didn't sell any dvds, but when you're on the road as much as me, it was worth not conquering new strangers to see an old friend.  When she left she said "I hope you come back somewhere close to Arizona so I can go see another one of your shows!  I don't mind driving to wherever, but it would be cool if you came back to Scottsdale!"...

...See, now is that so hard to say people? :)

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